With an estimated 820 million users in the next two years, India is poised to become the next smartphone capital of the world—albeit one that is powered by China-made devices and brands that are currently dominating India’s growing mobile-first market.
Xiaomi Still Top Brand, Samsung Loses Ground In India
An ENV Media report, which utilizes proprietary data and analytic feedback from its properties, including SevenJackpots online casinos comparison site, noted that India’s mobile market growth is largely driven by the wide variety of affordable mobile devices complemented by cheap data packages. ENV Media analysts estimated that “around half of all smartphone users in India play mobile games,” especially with the ongoing lockdowns brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Consumers rediscovered online gaming as part of accessible entertainment precisely during COVID lockdowns. Playtimes also increased due to better internet penetration and hybrid content delivery (streaming, AR/VR),” ENV Media analysts said. “The COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected event for all. Yet, it turned into a factor that pushed most digital trends in the same direction they had already taken… Nowadays, the former family primetime hours are often dedicated to gaming, and this kind of fragmented, customizable, and largely free gaming experience is the new preferred pastime for many Indians.”
Despite India’s huge market for feature phones, homegrown brands have a dismal smartphone share as Chinese brands continue to dominate the scene. Xiaomi remains to be the top brand favored by Indian buyers with a 29% market share in Q2 2021-up by three points from the previous quarter, according to the latest Counterpoint Research data. Samsung is still in second place, although its market share dropped from 20% in Q1 to 17% in Q2.
In third place is Vivo, which dropped to 15% market share, and Realme, which rose from 11% market share in Q1 to 15% in Q2. Rounding up the top 5 list is Oppo with 10% market share and “Others” with 14%.
Here’s Why China Mobile Devices Are Popular In India
The popularity of Android-powered Chinese brands can be attributed to several factors: they’re cheaper compared to iOS devices; the operating system (OS) is open, which means Indian tech companies and developers are comfortable working with Android, and the hardware parts and tech support can be found easily locally.
Indian brands, who are eyeing to make headway in the China-dominated mobile market, have one more firepower in their arsenal: the government’s backing via the Make in India campaign.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT recently approved several applications for mobile phone manufacturing under its PLI scheme, from companies including Lava, Bhagwati (Micromax), Padget Electronics, UTL Neolyncs, and Optiemus Electronics. Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma recently told IANS that the company is “gearing up to launch new products into the market soon.”
Mukesh Ambani’s Jio has also teamed up with Google to launch the JioPhone Next, which will run on a custom version of Android and offer a blend of Google and Jio apps and voice assistance in multiple Indian languages.